The End of Gentility.

I gotta ask – when did everyone become such a jerk?

youre-behaving-like-more-of-a-jerk-than-usual

Mr. Terrible was bad enough. I’m still kicking myself for not having the balls to get up and leave the table in the middle of the world’s rudest date.

Two weeks ago, I found myself one drink in at The Charleston in Santa Monica, a bar I tend to like but unfortunately it has started to attract the likes of drunk younger 20somethings who can’t afford the cover at the Wilshire bar next door.

My friend D. and I were sitting at the bar comfortably having drinks when suddenly over the course of 20 minutes, the capacity of the bar tripled and we were sandwiched in our seats surrounded by drunk douchebags and douchebaguettes (a term I recently learned and love – it means female douchebag!). Now, I’m willing to admit fault that I should have given up and gotten out of my seat sooner, but D. and I were trying to have a conversation. As we talked and finished our drinks, some wasted douchebag kept pushing his crotch into my back as he fought to get the bartender’s attention to order a drink. Repeatedly, he kept shoving into me over the course of several minutes, until I lost my cool.

I stood up and asked him to get out of my personal space. He snapped back, “This place is f–king crowded, what the f–k do you want me to do about it?” We got in each others’ faces for a moment until I backed off and D. dragged me to the dance floor.

So, what happened? Was I — the sober one — at fault for losing it over being shoved into by someone’s crotch repeatedly? Once upon a time, I was that drunk 22 year old. But I’d like to think I never shoved into anyone’s personal space with my crotch. Should I have cut him more slack for acting his age?

Almost fights in bars aside, I’ve noticed a general lack in manners and gentility in this city. Most mornings on my commute (in my car), someone yells and honks at someone from their cars and/or at pedestrians. People in the entertainment industry won’t talk to me at parties because I’m not in their industry and therefore cannot further their career in any way. No one smiles at each other here when I walk around my neighborhood or office. This could be the Midwesterner in me that’s expecting too much out of people, but I’ve encountered much more friendly people in even New York.

That movie Crash got that commentary right about LA – the only interactions strangers have here is when they literally crash into each other. Or almost get into bar fights over invasion of personal space.

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